Denney steps away as CCHS coach

Apr. 4—Taylor Denney said it was one of the most difficult decisions he has ever made. However, he also was quick to say he is sure it was the right decision to make.

After six total seasons with the Jets, Denney has announced he has resigned as head boys basketball coach at Cumberland County High School. He will continue to teach on staff.

"This wasn't any easy decision to make," said Denney. "I love the guys that I work with, coach Randy Herring and coach Jon Torres. I loved being around the boys every day. But it was kind of one of those things that I knew it was just time."

Denney has a long career in coaching. After graduating from high school, he coached multiple travel balls teams, before coaching at Stone Memorial, Brown Elementary School and CCHS.

"I was [former CCHS coach] Will Foster's assistant for four years," Denney said. "I coached at Stone Memorial when I first got out of college. I helped with coach [Mike] Buck in his last year coaching the boys, and I helped coach [Neil] Capps for a year when he took over."

Denney took over as head coach at CCHS for the 2022-'23 season.

"Basketball is a way of life," Denney said. "I think guys want to be around it and they want to teach the game. As coaches, we love the game of basketball, but we also love competition, we love competing. And you have to love being around the kids. For some people, the percentages of those things may be different than for others.

"Coaching basketball takes a lot and I don't think that's what people understand about coaches. You say you get an off day on a random Saturday in the winter. Well, there is always somebody calling or texting."

Denny said coaches are never really off. There is always something they could be doing with their teams.

"I think it takes a special kind of person to be a coach, and to continue to do it. I have been very blessed to be around a lot of really good kids over the yesrs, and a lot of really good coaches."

Though Denney is one of the most competitive people, he said the thing he enjoyed the most about coaching was his relationship with the players.

"A lot of those guys still call me," Denney said. "They use me for job references, they use me for apartment references. When they come back into town, we will go eat and spend some time together.

"I am still friends with coach [Mike] Buck and coach [Neil] Capps and that is who I played for. They were a big part of my life growing up. Coaching is very important to me, and it has been blessing."

Denney was able to speak to the current team before announcing his resignation.

"I made sure I talked to the guys when I resigned and told them that it had nothing to do with them," Denney said. "I told them sports is a pretty good metaphor for life. When things go wrong, you have bad days and things happen outside of your control, you have to be able to keep pushing through.

"I wanted them to know that happens in sports, but it also happens when you get older and you get a job, or you get married, or you have kids. There is going to be adversity hit you there, too."

And when asked about if he would ever coach again, Denney said he would never say never.

"I will never say never about coaching again," said Denney. "I have had some people call and want me to become their assistant. However, right now I am not focused on that. I would never say never to coaching again, but that is not something I am planning on right now."